Nightmares, dreams and what they mean

28 October 2020

Here are the eight most common nightmares and what they really mean for you...



Being chased or attacked

Dreams about being pursued by an attacker can leave you with cold sweats. But these types of dreams are more common than you might think. Apparently dreams of being chased might suggest you’re running away from something causing you fear or anxiety in your conscious life. Anger or jealousy could also manifest as faceless attackers in your dreams.

Dreams about falling

It’s a popular myth that if you hit the ground while falling in your dream, you’ll die in real life. Luckily, this isn’t true. However, dreams about falling can be a sign that something in the waking world isn’t going so well. It may even suggest you need to rethink a recent choice you’re subconsciously regretting.

Murdering someone

Don’t panic. Dreaming about killing someone doesn’t necessarily make you a threat in real life. This nightmare may actually point to mounting frustrations with parts of yourself that your victim represents. If your dream victim is somebody you don’t know, this could be revealing a hidden desire to remove “something” from your life, whether that’s a person or a painful situation.

Being naked in public

Finding yourself naked in public might sound like a comical nightmare, but it could leave you feeling humiliated long after you wake up. These sorts of dreams usually point to a fear of judgment, or something holding you back in the waking world.

Needing the toilet

We’ve all been there. Dreaming about being unable to find a toilet can be an uncomfortable experience. But what does it actually mean? Surprisingly, this dream may really represent feelings of your personal needs not being met, or feeling like you’re being put second by your significant other.

A partner leaving you

The idea of your partner leaving might be one of the most stressful dreams imaginable. For most, the cause of these anxieties will be obvious (e.g. worries about infidelity, or an ex on the horizon). But for others, it may be a more deep-set fear that you're not good enough for your partner, or not worthy of their commitment.

Teeth falling out

Dreams about losing your teeth can be quite disturbing, but don’t usually have anything to do with your oral health. Research suggests dreams like this actually relate to some sort of insecurity or anxiety about your appearance, such as feeling unattractive or having difficulty with aging.

Being unprepared for an exam

One of the most nerve-wracking nightmares has to be the exam dream – and there’s no prizes for guessing what these might mean. Exam dreams represent a lack of confidence in your ability to progress, or a stressful situation you need to overcome, whether that’s in school, work or elsewhere in your life. 

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